Russians Valera and Natasha Cherkashin met on the Moscow Metro in 1982. Since then, they have been traveling the world, chronicling underground transportation systems with kaleidoscopic works of art.
When the project is completed, 33 subway systems will be featured. The project includes such fascinating historic tidbits as this one:
The names IRT, BMT, and IND were the names of the three competing transit agencies prior to city takeover in the 40s.
The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) subway opened in 1904. The city contracted construction of the line to the IRT Company, ownership was always held by the city. The IRT built, equipped, and operated the line under a lease from the city.
The Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) was the rapid transit company which built, bought, or assumed control of the Brooklyn elevated lines
Beginning in 1913, the city embarked on a project called the Dual Contracts, under which the city built additional lines that were operated as part of the IRT and BMT systems. Finished mostly by 1920, some of the new lines had trains operated by both companies.
Project Global Underground: Digital works by Valera and Natasha Cherkashin is on view at the Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, through Oct. 21, with an artist talk and panel discussion Oct. 19, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Aaron Burr Hall, Room 219, on the Princeton campus. A public reception will immediately follow at 6 p.m. in the Bernstein Gallery, lower level, Robertson Hall.